Tenants and leaseholders are being encouraged to “get involved” at the heart of decisions about the management of their homes and estates.
The call comes as Kensington and Chelsea Council launches a new Resident Involvement Strategy that sets out a host of ways in which residents can shape the issues affecting their communities – regardless of their experience, background or amount of free time.
It was co-designed by a steering group of residents, tenants, leaseholders and Council officers and aims to ensure that people of all backgrounds can help deliver it and hold the Council to account. The strategy, which was agreed by Kensington and Chelsea's Leadership Team last night (Wednesday 10 February), includes a “menu” of involvement including:
- Joining committees representing residents’ associations, tenants, and homeowners, such as the Tenants’ Consultative Committee
- Sitting on interview panels for resident-facing Council roles
- Shaping Council performance targets for issues such as cleaning, repairs and anti-social behaviour
- Becoming a member of the editorial board for Housing Matters, the Council’s quarterly housing magazine, and advising on website content.
Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith, Lead Member for Grenfell, Housing and Social Investment, said:
“Our residents often know better than anyone about the main issues in their homes and estates and that’s why we value their unique insights into how to make their neighbourhoods better, more vibrant places to live.
“There are so many rewarding ways for people to get involved, no matter how much time or experience they have, and I encourage everyone to actively participate in our mission to create a world-class housing service.”
Resident Barbara Holden, who attends the Tenants’ Consultative Committee, said:
“These are our homes, so it is important to get involved – both for short-term benefits and for community cohesion in the longer term.”
Fellow resident Jessica Jones, who sits on the Housing Matters editorial board, said:
“I think good communication with residents is so important. We are working towards making Housing Matters not only a place where the Council talks to us, but where we can talk to each other.
“That’s necessary if we’re going to keep developing our community and improving the services that are delivered to us.”
Cynthia Dize, who has volunteered to sit on interview panels for new housing management staff, said:
“All of us who volunteered were given training on interview techniques and equal opportunities approaches and it also gave us a chance to ask questions.
“Being part of the interview panel means that you have a chance to shape the questions that are being asked of new candidates and to bring a resident’s perspective to the process. It also sends a signal that the residents’ voice does carry some weight.”